Massachusetts DPH Awards $12.6 Million for School Health Workforce, COVID-19 Response

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced $12.6 million in funding for community-based COVID-19 response, which includes $8.6 million in grants for school districts across the Commonwealth to expand the school health workforce and enhance schools’ ability to respond to COVID-19 and an additional $4 million to local boards of health for COVID-19 contact tracing and case investigations.

Forty-three school districts across the Commonwealth will receive $8.6 million in funding over two years through the Crisis Response COVID-19 Supplemental Funding for Workforce Development from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These funds will be used to hire additional school nurses, expand the roles of school nurse leaders responsible for health and safety activities across entire school districts, and add additional staff to assist with case management, contact tracing, COVID-19 testing, and student mental-health needs within school communities.

Building on a previous $16.6 million investment, the administration has awarded an additional $4 million to local boards of health for COVID-19 contact tracing and case investigations, bringing the total amount of direct federal and state aid provided to local public health for contact tracing since April 2021 to $20.6 million. These funds are part of the state’s efforts to build and strengthen local public health by providing them with additional funding, training, and technical support as they respond to COVID-19.

“All of these funds will assist and support two groups that have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 response — our school health workforce and our local health departments,” acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke said. “We are grateful for all of their efforts to address the critical health and safety needs of Massachusetts residents throughout these challenging months, and the administration is committed to being an active partner as we transition into the next phase of the pandemic.”